Ace wo Nerae! [エースをねらえ!] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Nice short drama series, based on a manga. Ueto Aya is kawaii as always. Make sure to see the special it really is, I changed from 7 to an 8 because it was so good.
Ai no Uta [あいのうた] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Very moving drama about a young woman's redemption.
Boku dake no Madonna [僕だけのマドンナ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) College student and the girl who climbs into his window to spy on the man across the street. Cute stars, interesting cast and a complicated love story.
Mukodono! [ムコ殿/女婿大人] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Rock star at work, nerd at home a nice family drama very light in the beginning but turns more serious the last few episodes. Yu-chan and Sakura make a cute couple
My Boss, My Hero [マイボスマイヒロ] Rating: 9/10 Great show, Sakaki , Hikari , Minami (Iron Face) and the rest of class 3A were all great as were the gang members. Gues now it's time to watch the 2 korean movies this series was based on.
Remote [リモート] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Fukada Kyoko plays Archie Goodwin in the Japanese version of Nero Wolfe, at least that's what it reminded me of. Very episodic
Saiyuuki [西遊記 ] Rating: 8/10 (Watched) Terrfic fantasy adventure show with a heart. Think LOTR on a TV budget with an eastern philosophy. The pervert god Roushi was very funny with his tree of breasts.
Sapuri [サプリ] Rating: 7/10 (Watched) Itoh Misaki is a great as a comedian and very pretty but her talents seem wasted here. While the story moved at a good pace, I felt that I didn't really care about the characters. I did enjoy the ending however.
Trick [トリック] Rating: 6/10 (Watched) I loved Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi but the show was too episodic for my taste
Yasashii Jikan [優しい時間] Rating: 10/10 (Watched) Only watched the 1st 8 episodes so far but it is one of my favorite dramas
Bodhi's drama reviews (4)
Beach boys [ビーチボーイズ] A Vacation to the Beach of my Dreams [Rating: 10/10] My favorite Japanese drama series is Beach Boys. This show has everyone of my favorite actors and actresses. The story is compelling, heartbreaking and uplifting. I laughed, cried, and was inspired.
Takenouchi Yutaka as Suzuki Kaito
I first saw him in Long Vacation and thought that he did a terrific job as the bad boy brother.
Sorimachi Takashi as Sakurai Hiromi
I first saw him in GTO, my second favorite series. I loved it as did almost everyone else, still #1 by a long shot.
Hirosue Ryoko as Izumi Makoto
What a great actress, I first saw her in Long Vacation, she must be either great or magical as she stars in the top 3 dramas I think she is at her best in this one.
Inamori Izumi as Maeda Haruko
My very reason for watching Japanese dramas, she starred in the first drama that I every watched I downloaded it from Usenet one episode a week Pretty Girls If she hadn't been so captivating I might never have checked out more dramas
My only complaint about Beach Boys is that I can't seem to find a decent copy of it. I would glady buy an English subbed version if the company that owns it ever releases it. As for now I'll squint and watch my avi files a couple of times a year, its like a trip to the ocean for me.
Majo no jouken [魔女の条件] Spoilers!!! Ending Discussed [Rating: 8/10] The Ending!! Please do not read this if you have not finished watching the entire series! Spoilers directly ahead.
I am a big fan of ambiguous endings, films or TV shows that don’t spell out exactly what has happened have more impact because I’m thinking about what happened at the end and how I’m supposed to interpret it. My first reaction to this ending was, what just happened! I expected that Michi played by Nanako Matsushima, was going to awaken from her coma and when she opened her eyes and ran her fingers through Hikaru’s hair I had the happy ending that I fully expected, until Hikaru portrayed by Hideaki Takizawa, opened his eyes and then went back sleep. So her awaking from the coma was only a dream. Throughout the series the couple would talk about running away to somewhere that they could be together and free a happy land, the only happy land that the two of them could share together was a dream.
The drama at times I believe had the characters doing some very stupid things. I thought that Michi jumping right from her near marriage, to a love affair with a student rather too quick. Michi declaring her love in front of the assembly was a very bad idea, the only excuse I can conceive is that she was in shock from her fathers betrayal and decided to lash back but obliviously ruins Hikaru’s chance for happiness at the school and thereby her own. The other motivation I question is that if Michi truly loved Hikaru couldn’t she have waited until he finished school, he would be of age and also a much brighter future then the gas station attendant he eventually becomes. Why couldn’t she wait or was her emotional state just so agitated that she couldn’t.
The drama reminded me a lot of Aoi tori aka Bluebird which is about an illicit love affair between a station master and a married woman. In fact the protagonists of both dramas lose jobs they love and take employment as manual laborers at a fish market as they are forced to flee there homes under the pressure of society.
People speak of the disturbing factor of this drama as the student / teacher love affair but what I find more disturbing is Hikaru’s mother played by Kuroki Hitomi. At times the jealously that motivated her appeared driven more by lust then by motherly concern. I would consider incest to be more taboo then a twenty six year old woman having an affair with a seventeen year old male.
I’ve had this drama for a while but finally watched it this past weekend as this ongoing case in Albany New York, sparked my interest and I wanted to see a different cultural perception on this issue.
This is from the Times Union Website
Former teacher pleads not guilty in rape case
Sandra Beth Geisel faces trial in Christian Brothers Academy case
By MICHELE MORGAN BOLTON, Staff writer Albany Times Union
First published: Wednesday, September 14, 2005
ALBANY -- Sandra Beth Geisel cradled her head in shackled hands and cried Tuesday after she pleaded not guilty to raping a 16-year-old boy.
Geisel, 42, a former teacher at Christian Brothers Academy, was indicted Friday on charges that also include engaging in a criminal sexual act with her former student.
In New York, it is illegal to have sexual contact with anyone under 17.
The student was three months from his 17th birthday when the incidents allegedly occurred.
So in the circumstances presented by this drama it would not be illegal for Hikaru and Michi to have sex in my home state, I don’t know what laws would be broken if they had runaway together as they did this drama.
My biggest objection with the situation as presented is the student/teacher relationship. Because Hikaru and Michi are so close in age and because Hikaru is so close to legal age, I do not have a strong objection to their relationship, quite the contrary I was rooting for them.
The other thing I question is if the roles had been reversed would my attitude be different. If it was a male teacher and a seventeen year old girl, or if the teacher had been older or the student younger; I would be more apt to be against it.
Society although touted as being free has many rules and customs that it imposes on individuals, rightfully so in many cases, no one condones murder or theft, but rules and customs do change over time, the hateful practice of slavery has been outlawed for a far shorter period of time less then a few hundred years. It was considered the norm in many societies for the prior four thousand years.
I enjoyed the drama very much it had a superior ending and gave me much to ponder. I would highly recommend it no matter what your feelings are on the subject matter itself. The acting was first rate from all of the principal actresses and actors.
I also posted this to my blog with working links
Pride [プライド] Japanese Drama "Pride" A Review [Rating: 9/10] Pride is about a semi-pro hockey team and it’s star player. The first episode sets the stage for the rest of this 11 episode Japanese drama/dorama. The show starts with a great opening theme “I Was Born To Love You” by Queen in arena rock style that is very well suited to a sports themed drama many other Queen songs are played throughout the series including "Bohemian Rhapsody", " We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions", " Radio Ga-Ga", "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "Let Me Live".
The star center Halu pronounced Haru is portrayed by Takuya Kimura a very popular Japanese drama star and member of the group SMAP. In the first episode, we are introduced to Halu’s coach Anzai, played by Saburo Tokito, who is in the hospital dying, Anzai has always been Halu’s idol and his first coach. Halu has tried to live up to his coach’s hockey career achievements and as we find out in later episodes that he has actually surpassed them. The coach has advised Halu that an iceman should not fall in love while playing hockey because a man who is in love cannot devote everything that is necessary to the game, he can’t play fearlessly if he has a wife and child to support. The coach loves Halu, so much so that instead of spending his last hours with his wife and son, he leaves the hospital with Halu and goalkeeper Hotta portrayed nicely by Kenji Sakaguchi, to train Halu one last time. Halu for his part loves and idolizes the coach and gives his own money to the coach’s wife advising her to tell the coach that it came from the team.
After a winning game the entire team is in a bar their team hangout, Halu, Hotta and Ikegami protrayed by Ichikawa Somegoro, talk about their philosophy of dating, and Halu as his coach advised states that for icemen love must be kept a game. They spot three girls sitting at the bar and a bet is raised to see if Halu can truly keep it just a game. Halu refuses until he sees the Aki Murase, played by Yuko Takeuchi and states “She looks like a woman from the last century” a repeated theme through the series. Old fashioned values are important to Halu we find out why as the series progresses. Halu stages a fight to get Aki’s attention and email address.
Aki has waited for two years for a boyfriend she hasn’t heard from on the strength of a promise that she made. Halu considers her perfect for a game of love so that neither will get too serious and proposes a contract that if Aki’s boyfriend reappears then “Game Over” he will walk away. The theme of waiting is repeated throughout the series in a number of different ways. Halu is waiting for a relationship after hockey, Aki for her boyfriend, the coach’s wife was to wait for a previous lover who is now back as the new coach Yuichiro Hyodo but she tells Halu she didn’t have the strength to wait for Hyodo and then married Anzai. Hydo is waiting for Halu to take his game to the next level.
I’ve seen Takuya Kimura in a Beautiful Life as a hairdresser, Love Generation as an ad man, Hero as a prosecutor, Good Luck as a pilot, his character’s change jobs but his personality remains the same for all of these drama’s, he stars as a strong loner willing to sacrifice for his co-workers and do anything for the woman he loves.
I watched the Fan-subbed version by J-TV. They did a beautiful job on the widescreen Region 2 DVD release converting to a hard subbed XviD file that looks beautiful on my 46” HDTV. Audio is dolby prologic and sounds wonderful. The subs are easy to read and quite good, sometimes extra Japanese cultural information is included in subtitle format across the top of the screen. A great release from in my opinion the best quality fan-sub release group.
I just posted this to my blog with working links http://burndvdburn.blogspot.com/
Shigatsu no monogatari [四月の物語] Shigatsu monogatari (1998) AKA April Story [Rating: 9/10] Yesterday I watched Shigatsu monogatari (1998) AKA April Story which features the actress Takako Matsu who stared in Love Generation. If you liked Love Generation I highly recommend it. Matsu is sweet in this short 67 minute drama about a girl Nireno Uzuki who heads to Tokyo for college and once she gets there she is asked why she wanted to be there. That's all I'll say about the plot as it is integral to the film, I'll just mention a few striking scenes.
The film starts as Uzuki leaves her family interrupted by the station master standing waving on a train platform in her home town Hokkaido. You never see her, while at the station, her father proudly explaining to the station master that is daughter is setting off for Tokyo as the train pulls away, the camera reveals her slowly waving mitten. Her family looking excitedly on yelling last minute goodbyes which are inaudible.
In Tokyo a chauffeur, holding an umbrella is brushing a limousine, I thought it was snow at first but then I realized that it was really flower petals, I do not know if they were apple or cherry or even if it makes a difference. A van pulls up and out hops a workmen asking for directions, they are given and the van pulls away as a family carrying all umbrellas to protect and herd a bride in traditional dress into the back of the limo.
A favorite scene of mine is photographed in the rain, with the rain striking a battered borrowed red umbrella it is just beautiful time seems to slow to the point of almost non-existence.
My reason for watching April Story was because the day before I had watched All About Lily Chou-Chou and I wanted to see more by the director Shunji Iwai this film is very different, the actors are older college age adults, and the tone is much lighter, as set by the moving men in the early part of the film. I wish it was longer, I had more I wanted to know about. What was the story with her neighbor? What about her friend from school Kitao Teruko?
Then I have questions about the Japanese culture, Uzuki rides a bike around Tokyo but never locks it, is this normal. Won't it be stolen? The petal storm in the beginning of the film is this true is it widespread through out the city? In college does every student join a club? Do new tenants bring presents to the residents of buildings that they are moving into?
Now it's time to watch the third of Shunji Iwai films I'll have seen this weekend. Hana to Alice (2004) which I saw for the first time last fall and enjoyed very much.
I'm going to post this later tonight to my blog with working links http://burndvdburn.blogspot.com/